Lynne d Johnson



« January 2002 | Diary | March 2002 »

02.27.02 02:14 PM

apple kicks a

Scouring the news today, I came across this item. Just wanted to post it as an in your face to PC users. Here's the deal, along with all the commercial recording artists that will receive a nod from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Apple Computer picked up a Grammy yesterday for its technological innovations enabling sound artists to create digital music. So who's the Mac Mami now?

Check out the news items about Apple receiving a Grammy:
The Grammy goes to....Apple Computer, by Margaret Kane, ZDNet News
Apple Wins 2002 Technical GRAMMY Award, Apple Hot News
Apple Will Be Awarded A Grammy Along With Moog, by Vern Seward, Mac Observer

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02.27.02 12:16 AM

an old typewriter and electro hip-hop

Last week was really interesting. I conducted this interview on Friday that was a little out of the ordinary. It was with Anti Pop Consortium. Their label, Warp Records
is putting out a new release April 1. And their management team, Ozone Management is working on updating their site to get ready for the release. Anyway, Tomas from XLR8R was looking for a New York writer to locate a manual typewriter and to hook up with these guys to let them freestyle on the keys. Talk about retro. Well, I was up to the challenge. I jumped at the opportunity, remembering that I knew Beans from back in the '90s when lots of these spoken word cats like Mike Ladd, and Saul Williams were making their rounds about the city. I used to cover the scene for this mag called Freedom Rag, and also was a spoken word head at the time. Yes, I used to spit the ill flow.

Well, I couldn't find a typewriter anywhere. So I was about to do this on a laptop. But it was against the premise of what XLR8R had conjured up for the story. Luckily Warp Records came through with a circa 1950s machine, and it was all good. Beans reminded me that we first met at Fez through Greg Tate. Yeah, the Village Voice writer Greg Tate. That was back when Tate had that awesome band Women In Love. Just remembering now that when Angel Williams used to manage Tate's band, I was doing some work with her. That was pre kokobar and pre being black. (See entry from 02.13.02 to find out more about Angel.) Anyway, ish sure does come full circle in life. And sometimes writing about this stuff again, arts and culture stuff that is, really makes me miss the scene that once was in NYC in the 90s. But hey you can't turn back the sands of time. You have to keep forging ahead. Everything must change.

Well, anyway, I won't get into too much of what happened at the interview at Brooklyn Moon Cafe on Friday. You'll have to wait for the article to come out, just like everyone else will. Wow, that's really a flashback. I used to conduct all my interviews @ BMC. It was like my little office. Even once did a fasion photo shoot there when I worked at the hip-hop rag BeatDown. It's the place I first stepped up to the mic, and let the spoken word be unheard. Gotta' get out of this time machine here, and proceed to try and finish this story before you get bored.

Needless to say, the interview went really well, as did the freestyle. Can't wait to see what XLR8R will do with it. It was a crazy day for me though. I was running around, trying to register my car and get this interview done, and then get to class on time. Yet, I don't think I would have it any other way. Sometimes my mom says that running around means you are running from something, probably yourself. Not sure how much I agree with her on that one. Sometimes, running around is necessary for survival. It becomes a must.

On another note. Here are some thoughts from my personal life. I thought that over the weekend, D. and I had made some progress and were on the road to recovery. But now I don't know. Something happened tonight that I think will affect us for some time to come. Just when the going gets good, the bottom falls out. Hey, don't quote me on that one it's not an old adage or anything. I think I made it up.

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02.22.02 03:32 AM

blogging continues

I've received some support from other bloggers, and have decided that I will continue to blog. I also received a major shout out from today on the site's home page. I guess I was just hoping that some of my friends would sometimes drop by to check me out. In the end, I did come to the realization that this isn't for other people. It's for me. I have to look at it as any other form of journal writing that I would have done in the offline world. In a way, that is why I started this in the first place. But I also know that at times I put major work into it, and for that fact, I didn't want it to be for an audience of one, myself that is. But it's cool. I'm going to keep blogging, b/c I feel that I must. Catharsis. Therapy. Web addiction. Whatever. It's me.

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02.21.02 12:25 PM

To blog, or not to blog

To blog, or not to blog. That is the question. Hmm...

When I look at my stats, I think about giving up this blog. It's like who's reading it anyway? My so-called friends, don't even seem to know it exists. But then, I'm learning you have to be a 'net addict, and into blogs to really understand this culture. They obviously don't fall into that category. I don't think any of my offline friends are as into being online as I am. When I think about not posting any longer, I look at sites like little.yellow.different and urbanpoet, and I see how many people read their words everday. The same thing seems to happen with george and cecily. Do these folks promote? Is this why they are visited so often? What exactly is the secret? Are they IMing and emailing so many people that the word gets around about them? Are people writing articles about their sites? I need to find out. I'm doing this to share, not to talk to myself. I can do that any time.

Anyway. For v.1.0 of the site, I was using Claris Home Page. (Funny, right now, I can't find a version online for the Mac.) Now since I changed the layout and am using CSS, I switched over to BBEdit. But I'm getting a little tired of all that hard core HTML coding, so I might go for
in the coming weeks. I'll let you know when I start using it. Just in case you're wondering, I'm on an iMac, so don't get any ideas that I might be using a PC.

On another note, last night, I finally saw
Moulin Rogue
. I smiled all they way through. Really loved the music. My girl Mel and I went to check it out at the Screening Room. I told her we could have seen it on my 36-inch screen on digital cable or DVD, but she wanted the movie theater experience. She's on a mission to see all the movies nominated for Oscars. I guess she feels about movies the way I do about the Web.

Also yesterday, Trent Fitzgerald, who has a pretty funny quote in the VV Pazz & Jop, emailed me to say that in the Rock and Rap Poll, they used one of my quotes. (Bob Dylan won on that list too.) Trent has the hard copy version, and online all they have is the list. I can't remember what I said, so I want to see it soon to know whether I said something stupid or not.

And finally, I think my relationship with D. is coming to a close. It seems either I'm too busy, or we are just not able to get along. Not really sure what it is. We just decided to be friends for now, but you know how that always works out. I really hope it doesn't go down that way here. I want it to work, but I seem to be unable and unqualified to make it work any longer.

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02.20.02 11:33 PM

I blog, therefore I am.

I blog, therefore I am.

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02.19.02 05:16 PM

For The Love Of Music

Music writer, John Book, says, "It may be impossible to actually love music, but music can provide emotions to you that you weren't feeling a minute ago. It's immediate, and I'm attracted to it almost as much as I am attracted to a sexy woman." He's a music junkie. Kind of sounds like my recent Internet/Email/Blog addiction. Anyway, to read more of what John has to say, click

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02.18.02 04:04 AM

I have an addiction

I have an addiction. There. Whew! I can finally admit it. I'm addicted to the WWW. And well, lately, this diary. It all seems so strange that I should have such an affinity for this thing, especially since after being laid off by a in May my life has turned upside down. Shouldn't I despise dot.coms, the Web, and the Internet?

I mean things are ok. I'm in grad school, writing, teaching, have a part time job, and an internship. It's a paid one, thank you. But really, my life was dramatically different back then. For one thing, I had money. Had it all the time. I miss the money. I miss going out dancing and hitting the bars. Oh the Apple Martinis, Chocolate Martinis, and Cosmopolitans. Thought I couldn't live w/out them. Used to suck them up like water. I miss going to movies. Used to see a new one every week. I miss my friends. (Thinking to self: are they not around b/c I don't have time, or b/c I don't have money? Have to file that one away for later.)

But I've learned a few things about myself since being laid off. For one, I've learned to save money for cloudy days. I've learned that impulse shopping is not all it's cracked up to be. No, I don't need to own new shiny things as soon as they come out. That's a lot less gadgets, CDs, books, and magazines for me. I've learned I don't have to buy brand new items of clothing every week. Or boots. Or shoes. Damn, I miss that one. I'm a shoe freak. I've learned to appreciate the little things. And, I've finally figured out what I really want to do with my life. But more on that one another time. I really should get off this crazy thing and get some sleep. As usual, I'll have lots of work to do once I wake up. Lately, I've been missing writing and school assignment deadlines like crazy. Perhaps it's my addiction. Maybe, like so many other addictions, it has me so hooked. So much so that I just can't focus on anything else. I'll have to snap out of that one. Soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

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02.14.02 11:13 PM

Happy V-day

Happy V-day. Happy day of over commercialized non-importance. Shouldn't every day be V-day? I mean if you're in a relationship, shouldn't it? I think so. That's what I keep telling my love. We're not together today. Unlucky me, there was a biz trip out of town. But it's cool. I've got a lot of work to do. When don't I?

Have you seen the 2001 Village Voice Pazz & Jop? I was one of those music reviewers—of several hundred—who got to vote on the best music of 2001. Bob Dylan won hands down. That is very interesting, b/c last year Outkast came in at #1. Thought perhaps the votes would go toward Jay Z this year. But it looks like what I've been saying all year is true. Hip-hop just was't all that interesting in 2001. Not even the Nas - Jay Z battle. I think some independent artists, like The Coup, Cannibal OX, and Roots Manuva, put out some really interesting music. But the major players were simply doing the same old thing they've been doing the past 2 or 3 years. Besides, aren't we just a tad bit tired of Neptune-produced beats?

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02.13.02 11:07 PM

Testified for the grand jury

Testified for the grand jury today, and it was a really weird experience. With all the lecturing and presenting I've done, somehow, sitting up there, answering questions about the case, made me sweat. Also discovered that the judicial system sucks in the way that you are only asked questions which require you to present facts. No opinions. No hearsay. I mean I understand all of this, but I don't really feel that I got to the heart of the story by answering the ADA's questions. Besides, I don't know if I really felt he cared about the case. Well, at least I served my civic duty, although it took up a greater portion of my day.

Tonight, I did something a little interesting. My brother has this show on Brooklyn Cable Access called Mosaic Live. It's affiliated with Mosaic Magazine. Well, he decided he wanted to have Angel Kyodo Williams, author of being black: zen and the art of living with fearlessness and grace on the show. And he also decided he wanted to have me interview her. Well after grand jury, I came home and slept, so I had not prepared for the interview. But it was cool anyway. Angel and I kinda' go way back, so I had it all right there in my head. Everything I needed to ask, or say, was within me. Actually, I find it better to speak when there is less preparation. When it's cold, rugged, and raw. Must come from my middle school and high school days of freestyling. It's just natural. No pretenses. No worrying about whether you got your lines right or not. Perhaps that is just what went wrong in the grand jury for me today. Maybe had the ADA not rehearsed me so damn much, I could have gone in cold and free. Spontaniety is my friend. Suppose it is also a source of inspiration. Too bad it's leaving me out in the cold to freeze as I attempt to tackle these writing projects. The brain 'puter is still coming up—void. It's all like ASCII text inside my mind right now. GIGO. That's garbage in, garbage out for you non-geeks out there.

Anyway, the conversation with Angel went very well. I like to call them conversations. Interview seems more like a disconnect. Like I am not part of what is going on. We got to talking about black mental health. It's a topic that came up on the afrofuturism
list, ever since I posted the brief write up about dream hampton showing her film, I Am Ali at Sundance. I'm saying all this to say that right now I think I am going through some mental health issues. I mean, doesn't everyone, at some time or another? Got me to thinking, that maybe I should start meditating and creative visualizing again. Perhaps I'll be able to find myself within myself. 'Cuz right now, the chick I'm looking at in this 'puter screen—the reflection I see—ain't me.

Listening to
Fila Brazillia
's Jump Leads right now, and it is really mellowing me out. Recently wrote a review of the disc for
that should be out soon. The mood, it's putting me in is making me think I can begin to write now. Finally. Some peace within.
1:50 AM If you happen to drop by everyday, I really appreciate your interest. Truth be told though, I really don't have something to say all the time. Sometimes, I believe there are parts of my life that are much too personal to share. Other times, well, I just don't think that what I am up to is all that interesting. But, for the most part, I simply don't always have the time to post something everyday. At least, not something that is going to make you oooh and aaaah. Got it? Good!

So, let's see, what happened today? Well, I had a lot of writing projects to finish, and basically I am still ass deep in 'em. Can't seem to get my writing groove going. And it really sucks, not only b/c I need the $, but also b/c I've been offered some really nice opps to get my voice out there. And I don't want to jeopardize my writer-to-editor relationships. But sometimes, the brain puter is just not functioning properly. At least as of late. I mean, what's really happening is that I want to put a lot of focus on my grad school ish this semester. I'm really trying to get as many A's as possible. And now that I have tree (that's Jamaican patois for three) jobs, well, I have to wonder: 1. just how many hours are there in a day anyway? and 2. can someone really shift their brain puter that many times throughout the course of a week, and still be, well, in some way, brilliant? These are rhetorical questions folx. I'm not really asking 4 your advice. These are just the kinds of things I ask myself on the regular. Well, anyway, see u the next time I have time. Thinking maybe I should just keep this blog as a media posting column. I'd be able to do that a lot easier, since I really don't want to talk about myself and my goings ons.


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02.12.02 12:04 AM

Vikter Duplaix in New York

Forgot to mention that I went to Joe's Pub for Vikter Duplaix's record release party last Wednesday. Beth Coleman, the digital dj diva that she is, popped by for a few. We chatted prior to Duplaix's set, but she had to bounce early. As for Vikter, he's a pretty interesting cat. He sings, produces, DJs, and—he has style. Philadelphia City Paper once named him most stylish. He's worked with almost everyone from Erykah Badu, Jazzanova, King Britt's Sylk 130, Jamiroquai, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Incognito, Esthero, Cherokee, Jaguar, to Eric Benét. His dj kicks joint on K7
is pretty tyght. I've been listening to it for a couple of weeks now, and as it grows on me I'm thinking I might review it soon.

Here's what others are saying about his work:
"Still, Duplaix's idea of "DJ Kicks" is livelier, more melodic and more diverse than that of most of his turntablist peers.
- Mark Jenkins, Washington Post

"For now, Duplaix remains an artist's advocate, pushing the boundaries of music in an attempt to reach beyond the norm and potentially teach people that mainstream music doesn't have to be all style with no substance."
- Tim Pratt, East Bay Express

"From New York to Munich to London, DJs, artists and labels alike are feeling what Philadelphia-based singer/composer Vikter Duplaix is doing. With everything from R&B to house and broken beat in his scope, the man's about to reshape dance music in his own soulful mold."
- Phil Sherburne, XLR8R

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02.10.02 12:35 PM

Under the weather

All week, I've been a little ill. Physically, and just, mentally drained. What capped my week off, was witnessing violence in the NYC subway system. I was on the train with one of my classmates. We were discussing school work, and then all of a sudden—BAM—we heard some ruckus. Folks started moving toward our direction. Everyone was running—shook.

There was a group of young men, in the face of another man. The way folks were running, I thought, perhaps, there was a gun. My classmate and I got off the train, as did the rest of the passengers. I'm not quite sure of all the details, but when I really started witnessing the events, it was unbelievable.

I don't know how many brothers were approaching this one young man, but he had a Diesel bag and was well dressed. The other men, I can't remember exactly how many, were facing him as he backed off the train. He put his bag down on a bench, and that is where I stood. I was going to pick it up for him, but since I didn't know him, or his attackers, I simply stood and watched. Just like everyone else on the platform.

The guys started swinging on him, and he was definitely holding his own. It seemed he made sure that he would get at least one of them—good. Which he did, holding on for dear life, as sucker punches and kicks came flying at him. Someone picked up his bag and took it into the train. Finally, a gentleman onlooker tried to break it up. For the most part, onlookers were just watching and gasping. Fearful of getting involved. Most of the other cats had run off, but the attacked, kept holding onto this one dude. In the tumble, thy fell to the ground, at which point someone else came back to the scene and kicked him in his head—repeatedly. Then the police arrived.

At first, it seemed, they thought the attacked was at fault. I picked up his hat, gave it to him, and then told him his bag was taken back into the train. They had taken his $300 worth of new Diesel items, his two-way, and possible ripped off his chain and bracelets. He was bleeding profusely from the mouth and nose. He was infuriated that the cops were on him like he was the attacker and not the victim. There had been a knife on the ground, but someone got rid of it. I don't know when. There was so much activity. People running back-and-forth, and moving around.

This morning, my phone and doorbell kept ringing. I usually sleep in late on Sundays, but I was disturbed by the constant ringing of the phone, and then the bell. It was the police. They came to issue a subpoena. I have to appear before the grand jury later this week. Funny how quickly that process happened. Especially in Brooklyn. Don't know what I'll say, since all the details are pretty sketchy for me. But I am willing to help, nonetheless. Just hope I don't have to watch my back.

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02.07.02 11:28 PM

All I need is one mic

"All I need is one mic." - Nas, "One Mic," Stillmatic

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02.05.02 01:41 PM

Been away for a minute

Been away for a little bit. Working on lots of projects. Also went out to Jersey this weekend to spend some time with D. We saw this real crazy movie called Brotherhood of the Wolf. Rotten Tomatoes has a collection of reviews on the film. Following is the synopsis:

Inspired by actual events taking place during the reign of King Louis XV, The Brotherhood of the Wolf revisits one of the rare French myths, that of the "Beast of Gevaudan" which killed a number of persons before being vanquished under mysterious circumstances.

It was like The Matrix meets Eyes Wide Shut meets Jaws. I'm sure there's a boat load of other movies you would say it reminded you of. Nice CGI EFX. Nice martial arts scenes. Cool imagery. Humor. A love story. Oh yeah, and did I forget to mention that it was Fench. It seems to be a mockery of American cinema, but it's damn good. I give it the five-finger slap.

:: dead matter from a day in a life

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